The Vancouver International Auto Show is still a couple of weeks away, but that didn’t stop BMW Group Canada from visiting Beautiful B.C. last weekend and showing off their latest products at the Vancouver Convention Centre. But it wasn’t cars — the German manufacturer was displaying their lineup of bicycles at the Vancouver Bike Show.
I know what you’re thinking: “BMW makes bikes?” And that is precisely why the company made their first appearance at the event, says Rex Yulo, BMW bike business development specialist.
“It’s about raising awareness on the product itself. We’ve had bikes in Canada since the early 2000s, and BMW as a group has been in consumer bikes since the 1990s,” says Yulo.
Along with MINI, BMW carries a handful of models aimed at the lifestyle market. First came the 10-speed Cruise Bike, designed for getting from A to B around town when you leave the automobile at home. Last year, the Cruise M-Bike was introduced, which adds some extra performance and premium features one would expect with anything associated with the M badge. For instance, the seat post is made from lightweight carbon fibre, and there is a sporty red and black colour scheme throughout.
New for 2015 is a limited edition of the M-Bike, sprayed in the exact same Austin Yellow shade found on the new M4 sports coupe.
“There are only 500 in the whole world,” says Igor Obu, BMW Bike Technical Specialist and professional stunt cyclist. Of the 500, 31 will be made available in Canada through a special dealer promotion to be announced at a later date.
Also at the booth were a couple of virtual simulators where attendees could get a taste of riding a fine German human-powered vehicle. I had the chance to sample a BMW Cruise e-Bike, utilizing a BOSCH electric motor and battery. By pressing buttons mounted on one of the handles, you can dial in varying amounts of electric assistance, up to 225% support, while you’re pedalling. Up until this year, European units limited to 25 km/h were sold in Canada. Now, American-spec e-Bikes go up to 32 km/h.